IRS Whistleblowers Have New Remedies for Employer Retaliation

first_imgFile retaliation complaints with theDepartment of Labor, and/orSeek relief in the federal courts. Employees Can’t Waive Whistleblower Remedies An IRS whistleblower has 90 days afteran employer reprisal to file a complaint with the DOL. The DOL then has 60 daysto investigate. If it concludes that there is reasonable cause to believe theemployer retaliated against the whistleblower, the DOL issues a preliminaryorder to grant relief. Administrative Whistleblower Remedy The DOL and the parties canterminate the administrative process at any time by entering into a settlement. Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative. the Treasury Secretary,Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), U.S. ComptrollerGeneral, or Department of Justice;the U.S. Congress; a person with supervisory authorityover the employee; or any other person who works for theemployer and has the authority to investigate, discover or terminatemisconduct. IRS Whistleblower’s Administrative and Judicial Remedies If the DOL does not issue a decision within 180 daysafter the whistleblower files a complaint, the whistleblower may sue theemployer in the U.S. District Court. If the DOL holds a hearing after a party objects toits preliminary findings, the whistleblower or the employer may appeal theDOL’s final order in the U.S. Court of Appeals. The parties have 30 days to objectto the order. If no one objects, the preliminary order becomes final, andcannot be challenged in the courts. An IRS whistleblower may also seekjudicial remedies for employer reprisal in two circumstances: Judicial Whistleblower Remedies Broad Reach for IRS Whistleblower Remedies Kelley Wolf, JD, LLM Inaddition to these judicial remedies for the parties, the DOL can also sue indistrict court to enforce its own orders. Login to read more on CCHAnswerConnect. However, if the DOL concludes thata complaint is frivolous, the whistleblower may have to pay up to $1,000 of theemployer’s legal fees.center_img To challenge employer retaliation,an employeewhistleblower must first file a complaint withthe Department of Labor (DOL). The employee may then seek judicial relief froma contrary DOL decision or the DOL’s failure to act. The whistleblower remedies are notlimited to employees who cooperate with the IRS. They also apply when aninformant provides information or assistance to: Similarly, the employer is notjust the party that employs the whistleblower. Employers include officers,employees, contractors, subcontractors and agents of the informant’s employer. tax underpayments, or conduct that the informantreasonably believes violates internal revenue laws or any federal laws relatedto tax fraud. Any party to the proceeding mayobject to the preliminary order and request a hearing. The DOL has 120 days afterthe hearing to issue a final order that either provides relief to thewhistleblower or denies the complaint. Whistleblower’s Redress After Employer Reprisal These administrative proceduresare based on anti-reprisal remedies for whistleblowers who report violations offederalaviation laws and regulations. Perhaps even more importantly, these new remedies cannot be waived by any agreement, policy form, or condition of employment, including a predispute arbitration agreement. In fact, a predispute arbitration agreement is not valid or enforceable if it requires arbitration of an employee whistleblower dispute that arises under these rules. These employer whistleblowerremedies apply to an informant who provides information or otherwise assists ininvestigations and actions related to: An employee whistleblower whoprevails in an employer reprisal complaint, either with the DOL or in thedistrict court, is entitled to all relief necessary to make the employee whole.This relief includes: Finally, employer retaliationincludes discharge, demotion, suspension, threats, harassment, and any otherdiscrimination against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment,including acts in the ordinary course of the employee’s duties. Thesenew rights and remedies do not diminish or limit any employee’s rights, privilegesor remedies under any federal law, state law, or collective bargainingagreement. Some IRS whistleblowers have significant new administrativeand legal remedies against employer retaliation. Employeewhistleblowers can now: These remedies took effect on July 1, 2019.They are largely based onremedies for employer reprisals against whistleblowersunder the False Claims Act. reinstatement with the samesecurity status; 200% of back pay and 100% of alllost benefits, plus interest; and compensation for special damages,including litigation costs, expert witness fees, and reasonable attorney fees.last_img

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